Last week, my brother stopped by the office. It's a long story, really... my sister-in-law and nephew were involved in a car accident. Everyone is ok, but my brother got a ride to the accident and then needed my other brother to give him a ride to somewhere else...
Back story complete.
It was about 10 minutes after 5 when he was standing in the office and we were figuring out who would give him a ride and to where. It was then that my brother (the one needing the ride) turned to me and said, "What are you doing now, Natalie?"
My other brother responded, "Well, usually she is out at the door at 5:01."
The other men in the office all loudly agreed and laughed.
You know... I'm such a bad employee/business owner because the perception is that I leave immediately after 5 o'clock.
I was pissed.
Do I leave work pretty close to 5? Yes, I do. I won't deny it.
But the implication that I rush away from work isn't correct. And it's not fair. I get my work done. I go to night meetings. I stay until I have reached a place where I can stop for the day.
I don't rush away from work. I'm rushing towards Henry.
As any mother is aware, it's a mad dash between when work ends and bedtime. At best, I have 3 hours a day I get with Henry. And during that 3 hours, I have to drive to and from daycare, pick him up, get home, make dinner, feed Henry, clean up dinner (although Phil usually does this), get Henry bathed (Phil helps with this), get jammies on, calm Henry down and get him to bed. Oh and I am supposed to spend quality time with Henry in there too.
And I am lucky... Phil is so helpful in taking care of Henry and the evening routine.
Even so, there are days when I don't even get to talk to Phil until after Henry goes to bed.
But the guys in the office... they don't understand. Almost all of them either don't have kids (like my brother who made the comment) or their wives took care of all that stuff. They didn't work or they didn't work full-time.
I'm just waiting for someone to make a comment about how I show up to work just a few minutes before 8 (again a sign that I'm apparently not an overly dedicated worker). By 8, I've already spent an hour getting Henry out the door and to daycare. I'm pretty sure my brother (the one that made the comment) doesn't even wake up before 7.
It's just another example of how hard it is to be a working-mom. You're supposed to feel guilty if you leave work before the men. And you most definitely will feel guilty if you miss out on time with your kids.
There is no way to win. I guess I will do my best to focus on one thing at a time and constantly work on obtaining balance. Cause I've heard it's super easy.